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The gummy problem with pregnancy
Expecting a baby? Did you know that your dental health might play up while you’re pregnant? Well, it can.
Thankfully taking care of your gums and your pearly whites also help your baby’s health. Now that you know that, you’ll be keen to learn how to stay on top of your dental health while pregnant.
Why does pregnancy affect teeth?
Pregnancy changes women’s usual hormonal levels, affecting teeth and gums.
Common dental problems during pregnancy
- Irritated and inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
It’s important to see your dentist if you have these symptoms. Firstly because the earlier gum disease is treated, the better. The reality is that gingivitis, the early form of gum disease can lead on to periodontitis – a speedy retreat of the gums, bad breath, plaque deposits, loose teeth and potential tooth loss.
Secondly, gum disease is linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Given that a healthy baby is your aim, your oral health is top priority.
Dental treatment you can have while pregnant
- Preventative dental and fluoride treatments
- Some non-urgent elective procedures in the first trimester (speak to your dentist)
- Urgent dental surgery (speak to your dentist)
Tip: Let your dentist know you’re pregnant before any treatment, so that they can take all the recommended precautions for you.
Dental treatment you and your dentist might avoid
- X-rays (although these can be accommodated if necessary)
- Non-urgent elective surgery during your 2nd and 3rd trimesters
Good oral hygiene at home
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you get to put your self-care on hold. Quite the opposite. Healthy habits are more important than ever in keeping your mouth clean.
Your normal dental regimen should apply: brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss your teeth and keep your dental appointments (every 6 months is a rule of thumb).
Pregnancy teeth myths
The following tales are decidedly false. Consider yourself informed.
- Calcium transfers from mum’s teeth to the baby
- It’s normal to lose a tooth during pregnancy
- Using fluoride on your teeth is bad for your baby
Visit BetterHealth.vic.gov.au for extra tips and tricks for tooth brushing while pregnant.
You may be interested in:
- Check out our special dental offers for Peoplecare extras members.
- Member offers: Peoplecare Eyes & Teeth
- Member Offers: Smile.com.au
- Fact Sheet - Having a baby [PDF]
Australian Dental Association, Department of Health (pregnancybirthbaby.org.au), BetterHealth Channel & Dental Health Services Victoria